11-foot crocodile found in Lake Tarpon

700-pound croc roaming Tampa area for years to be released back into wild

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Courtesy: Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission

TARPON SPRINGS - Wildlife officials say a 700-pound, 11-foot-long crocodile will likely be released back into the wild after it was captured in Tarpon Springs.

The Tampa Bay Times reports it took trapper Mike Amyx and three crew members more than four hours to capture the crocodile. Homeowner Wanda Vekasi called the trapper on Monday evening.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officials told the Times no other crocodile has been captured as far north as Tarpon Springs, in Pinellas County. In 2011, a croc was photographed in St. Petersburg.

Rumors of the crocodile circulated for more than a year. Officials say it's not unlikely the croc used culverts, creeks, rivers and land to get to the lake.

American crocodiles are an endangered species. Experts say there are about 2,000 in Florida.

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